Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mountainboarding for Dummies

I wanted to give more detail from my mountainboarding adventure yesterday.  First of all, it's got it's risks, but mountainboarding is far easier than skateboarding and if someone as clumsy and uncoordinated as I can ride for a few seconds without falling, anyone can.

The key is having lots of equipment: helmet, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads.  My board had a secret weapon- a hand brake!  It would have been way more brutal and terrifying without it.  Nat and Brookelynn are more experienced and badass, so they cruise on boards without brakes.  They are also patient, wonderful teachers who know the best areas for beginners.  I would have never considered it otherwise.

The terrain is far different in the country on mountain biking trails with less traffic verses asphalt or a skate park.  Mountainboards have chunky, rubber wheels that don't spin as fast.  When you move off the gravel into the grass or dirt, you slow down dramatically, and have a pretty soft landing.  If you do fall, keeping your feet strapped in the board is far safer than trying to get out of the board (just like snowboarding).  Leaning back into a fall causes you to fall on your butt, a much better option than leaning forward, which can make you flip and fall on your head.

 Nat has a full armor jacket to combat his lack of fear.  A couple scrapes are just par for the course.

 Brookelynn is the woman who inspires me to do everything.  Everyone should have a friend like that.

 When your feet are strapped in, turn them inwards to the center of the board for more control in turning. Pushing on your toes or heels tilts the board to where you want to turn.  B and I both ride goofy, which means our right foot aims in front and most of the weight sits on the left foot on the back of the board.

 Lining up the board across from the slope of the hill lets you get set up.  When you're ready to go, scoot the board downhill in quick, little jumps to get moving.  And you're off!

Staying low gives you the most control, slows you down and can help you ride through most anything.

And for beginners, a hand brake can give peace of mind and extra confidence to take on a steeper hill.

No comments: